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Del Shannon - Greatest Hits

4.3 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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The Great Del Shannon
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Audio CD, May 10, 1990
$17.55 $0.43

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The first collection to feature original master tape recordings of all of Del's biggest hits.

Amazon.com

These 20 tracks include all the big early-'60s hits by this maverick artist, plus several obscure gems. Shannon was atypical of his era by virtue of age (26 when he had his first hit, "Runaway"), originality (he wrote most of his songs), aggression (unusually among white artists of the early '60s, most of his stuff rocked), and temperament (his songs weave an alarming pattern of misery, paranoia, desperation, vengeance, and despair). Not to mention musical innovation--"Runaway" contains what could be called the first pop synthesizer solo, "Little Town Flirt" casts the mold for the entire British Invasion, "From Me to You" was the first American version of a Beatles song, "Handy Man" transforms the bouncy Jimmy Jones novelty into a rock maelstrom, "Do You Want to Dance" anticipates the Beach Boys' subsequent rockin' reworking, "Keep Searchin'" and "Stranger in Town" could have been the soundtrack to The Fugitive, and "Sister Isabelle" is the ultimate boy-loses-girl song--Del's gal becomes a nun, and he rails at God for beating his time. It's not 100% brilliant--"Sue's Gotta Be Mine" is a blatant Four Seasons ripoff and "The Swiss Maid" is, as the title might warn, far from yodel-free--but this package is a neat summation of the career of a tragically overlooked artist. --Ken Barnes
Song Title Time Popularity
1 2:18
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2 2:01
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3 2:02
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4 2:32
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5 2:22
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6 2:05
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7 2:48
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8 2:30
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9 2:35
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10 1:57
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11 2:21
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12 2:00
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13 2:12
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14 2:33
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15 2:26
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16 2:07
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17 2:29
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18 2:33
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19 2:57
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20 3:38
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 10, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0000032T6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #124,308 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
The only Shannon CD you really need to own (unless you are a diehard and you need to buy the Bear Family box set). Del Shannon was a 60s rocker who sometimes get lumped in with Four Seasons and other pop stars of the time, but he was very unique, much different from his so-called contemporaries. Unlike the happy bubblegum sounds of Frankie Vallie, Shannon was much more downbeat. He prefered heartbreak ballads to love songs, and his vocals always conveyed desperation and loneliness. "Runaway" is about a man wondering where to go in life after a breakup, and "Hats Off to Larry" is about a man's ex being let go herself. Okay, maybe I'm looking way too deep into this. The fact is that in addition to wondeful songwriting, its great pop music. Is there any true oldies stations out there where "Runaway" isn't a staple on the playlist? My one minor complaint is that they didn't include the version of "Do You Want to Dance" that was on Rhino's "Grandson of Frat Rock". Still, it's a great song. The Amazon editorial review said that "Swiss Maid" and "Sue's Gotta Be Mine", and while they are legions away from "Cry Myself to Sleep" or "Follow the Sun", they're not bad filler at all. One of Rhino's best "Best of", hopefully this one doesn't go out of print like many other Rhino classics have.
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Format: Audio CD
Gotta love this guy. "Runaway" is easily one of rocks single greatest songs, but there's a couple lesser-known gems hidden on this comprehensive disc.
"So Long Baby" is fabulous. Deep horn blasts underscore Del's dismissive lyrics. Del makes it clear there is no way this chick burned him more than he burned her. Why isn't this gem in more oldies rotations?
Sadly, Del spent a lot of time on sappy spineless ballads, and Rhino saw fit to include all of them here. Still, this is a great collection of Del's lesser known work.
Del's raucous cover of the Beatle's "From Me to You" is an unexpected surprise.
Like all things Rhino, the liner notes are complete and entertaining. Unklike most things Rhino, some of these cuts don't seem as sterlized as they might be. Actually, the static under "Runaway" just makes it that much cooler.
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Format: Audio CD
If rock's premier stoic was Roy Orbison, then Del Shannon was its leading paranoid. Most of his great hits have an aura of doom and gloom about them. On the surface, they seem like typical upbeat rock hits of the era, but the lyrics are often about feeling lonely and alienated. Anyway, this CD features all his hits (and misses), other than his '80s comeback hit "Sea of Love". This is great stuff, and I highly recommend it.
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Format: Audio CD
Del Shannon sure could sing out those great songs of his; and this album is guaranteed to bring back fond memories of those days when his tunes were always on the radio! The quality of the sound is excellent and the artwork is very nicely done.

"Runaway" starts the CD strong with Del Shannon showing off his broad vocal range. He jumps from tenor to falsetto effortlessly; and the musical arrangement shines like gold! There's also "Hats Off To Larry;" this was always one of my favorites by Del Shannon and whenever I hear this I always turn up the volume. Del Shannon again switches back and forth between tenor and falsetto; this impresses me a lot. The arrangement for "Hats Off To Larry" really has that early rock and roll flavor to it--awesome!

"Little Town Flirt" is another hit for Del Shannon; I really like the backup vocalists and Del Shannon sings this with heart and soul. His excellent diction bolsters his performance and I like the musical arrangement. "From Me To You" is a great cover of a song by The Beatles; Del Shannon pays tribute to them while putting his own stamp on this beautiful ballad.

"Two Silhouettes" has a great early rock flavor to it also; and the backup vocalists harmonize well. "That's The Way Love Is" impresses me as Del sings this with great passion. He is truly able to express all the feelings in this song.

"Do You Want To Dance" is another great ballad that Del Shannon puts his own stamp on; and the musical arrangement is performed rather well. "Keep Searchin' (We'll Follow The Sun)" gets the royal treatment from Del Shannon; I really like this ballad.

The album ends great with "Sister Isabelle;" Del Shannon sings this like a pro and the rockin' arrangement is awesome! Del Shannon never sings a superfluous note and I think you will enjoy "Sister Isabelle."
2 Comments 7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
Del Shannon wasn't your typical early 60s teen idol- sure, his music was catchy and exuberant, with lyrics that focused on the ins and outs of young love; he still sounds nothing like the Four Seasons. For one thing, the guy knew how to rock. Even his poppier numbers had the kind of driving rhythms and visceral energy that charactarized rock 'n' roll in its purest form. Shannon's voice, even at its most sugar-coated, was as raw and rough as Elvis' or Chuck Berry's. Just listen to how he tears his way through the Beatles' "From Me To You," sharpening the song's rock 'n' roll edge while retaining its relentless catchiness. Same goes for his covers of "Do You Wanna Dance" and "Handyman."

However, Shannon's greatest power (and what really distinguished him from ontemporary artists) was his songwriting ability. His hook-filled melodies concealed some of the most cynical, paranoid, and bitter lyrics ever penned. In fact, the best songs here drip with unprecidented venom. "Hats Off To Larry" sees Del praising the guy who broke his ex girlfriend's heart, declaring "He told you lies/ now it's your turn to cry" with unrestrained glee. Meanwhile, "Stranger In Town" and "Little Town Flirt" find the singer at his most paranoid. "Cry Myself To Sleep" and "Runaway" (the latter being the set's most well-known song) are darkly catchy howlers with bruised, lovelorn lyrics. "Sister Isabelle-" in which Shannon laments the love of his life's choice to become a nun- is a darkly funny, and unquestionably awesome, rocker.

Sadly, there are a few missteps- Shannon made his share of concessions to the world of mainstream pop, resulting in several schmaltzy throwaways.
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